IKEA announced today that it will begin switching from fossil-based to bio-based glues, in a move aimed at addressing a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the company.

According to IKEA, the use of glue, primarily used for board production accounts for 5% of the company’s total value chain climate footprint. The company said that the announcement follows 10 years of trials to find alternatives to fossil-based glues.

Venla Hemmilä, Material and Technology Engineer at IKEA of Sweden, said:

“This is a big and important movement for IKEA, which we have been working to enable for more than 10 years. This confirms the need for more glues with much lower climate footprints and that small changes can have big impacts. We hope this will inspire others to follow.”

Addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production forms a major part of IKEA’s commitment to become climate positive – reducing more emissions than the value chain generates – by 2030, with supply chain emissions account for nearly two thirds of IKEA’s climate footprint. The glue initiative follows the company’s announcement last month of a significant expansion of its program to support its suppliers in accessing renewable energy.

As part of the new announcement, IKEA unveiled goals to reduce fossil-based glue usage by 40% and the climate footprint from glue by 30%, and to have most board-producing factories in its supply chain using glues with lower climate footprints by 2030. The company also said that it has launched an accelerator program to pilot new glue solutions with external partners, to enable a transition to 100% bio-based glue use.

As an example of its efforts, IKEA said that one of its factories in Kazlu Ruda, Lithuania is now using a glue system made of technical starch from corn, made from industrially grown plants that are separated from the food value chain.

Andreas Rangel Ahrens, Head of Climate at Inter IKEA Group, said:

“As glue in board materials stands for 5% of the climate footprint of the IKEA value chain, this makes a big impact and a key step towards contributing to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Together with increasing recycled wood use and striving towards 100% renewable energy in production, this is a milestone in our journey of making our wood-based products more sustainable.”

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